To start with, cruising isn't what it used to be. A lot of the things I used to take for granted are no longer there. Some for the better, some worse. To start with, the prices for some of the things onboard are ridiculous. They have you sign out towels and have a sign posted that there is a $20 charge PER towel for each one not returned...not so sure they really do this as I can't imagine anyone really paying that kind of penalty on a ship...but then, why threaten that to people who just paid a lot of money to go on the cruise.
Next, RC used to give away bottles of water when you went into ports...especially the island area they own. Now, they charge $4 a bottle. Bingo used to be a fun game onboard a cruise ship...not so anymore. Not only do you have to fork over about $60-$70 for the new electronic BINGO machines...which you do absolutely nothing....but the payouts are terrible. Other than the last night of BINGO, the payouts (with a decent amount of people playing) were in the $50-$95 range per game...not per player. Some of the staff (one in particular)....was very rude to us and I saw her being rude to a kid on the boat...she is missing one arm and a has an artificial leg...not my reason for complaining about her of course....when we were getting off the boat to get on a tender, we accedentally used the elevator instead of going to floor 2 and walking down a flight and she nearly chewed out heads off...and, when there was a kid after a game of BINGO throwing away his paper bingo cards (they still do have these but for 3 or 4 dollars less than the electronic ones), which they asked you kindly do to recycle, he pushed them down in the garbage can, it accidentally pushed the bag into the can....the one armed lady who worked for the cruise ship asked him to fix the garbage...he didn't speak English too well you could tell....I didn't know this kid....but when he looked at her funny, she told him again to fix the garbage can as he broke it and he should fix it...this was a 8 or 9 year old kid....the nerve of her....does she think because she is handicapped it gives her the right to tell a customer of the ship (kid or not a kid) to fix the garbage can...if it was my kid and she did that, I would have reported her...after I had a few words with her....she is just RUDE.
The ice skating was terrific on this ship....the wait staff at meals was terrific as usual on all cruises I have been on...the food SUCKED though...desserts especially were terrible...the best place to have food on the ship was either Sorrento's for pizza or salad or the Seattle Coffee house for small ham and cheese or turkey sandwiches on croissants 24 hours a day or great desserts and pastries...and good coffe too. The prices on board for cologne and electronics is nothing to write home about although with the invention of the internet, that is to be expected....ordering most of this stuff online from somewhere like Amazon is much cheaper and still no tax and minimal shipping charges. The photographers onboard lacked from a few years ago when we were on the Navigator of the seas...and talk about crazy pricing....$20 for a picture....drinks were pretty expensive too....I realize it's a cruise and you expect to pay somewhat more than being at home but some stuff was just astronomically much higher.
The rooms were okay...our kids adjoing room was filthy upon checking in. There was a huge red spot of some stuff....not sure what it was...on the carpet that smelled bad...the room never lost it's damp smell even though ours next door didn't have that. There were sunflower shells from someone eating sunflower seeds on the carpet in the kids room too....the drains were clogged with hair and barely drained in both rooms in the sinks. One of the bright spots of the cruise was the Cruise Director...he was very funny and participated in all the events. So...bottom line....food sucked for the most part...things they used to give you they now charge more for...and, there wasn't as much nightly entertainment as there used to be in the years past...things that used to be a secondary nightly thing like skating shows were sometimes the only nightime event. I would give a long hard thought process before just going on Royal Carribean again....that is, assuming all lines aren't cutting back the same way in today's economy.